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Explore! Wednesday Activities & Virtual Learning

June 18, 2020

Filed under Explore!, Programs, Virtual Learning

Pennsylvania State Symbols

Whatever back-to-school looks like for your classroom, the State Museum of Pennsylvania has virtual educational resources to supplement your lessons and engage your students. Are you teaching about Pennsylvania? The Explore! Wednesdays video series identifies each of the state symbols, providing information about its selection and connection to Pennsylvania.  Watch, explore and send us your questions.

Pennsylvania State Flag

State Aircraft: Piper Cub

State Amphibian: Eastern Hellbender

State Animal: White-tailed Deer

State Drink: Milk

State Electric Locomotive: GG1

State Fish: Brook Trout

State Flagship: US Brig Niagara

State Flower: Mountain Laurel

State Insect: Firefly

State Game Bird: Ruffed Grouse

State Steam Locomotive: K4s

State Tree: Eastern Hemlock

Do you know the symbols that never became official? Test your knowledge with this crossword PDF Document


Coming Soon

State Electric Locomotive: GG1 4859

The GG1 electric train stationed out of Harrisburg moved passengers and freight from 1938-1979.  Explore how this innovation streamlined an industry and its selection as the official state electric locomotive.


State Beautification and Conservation Plant: Crownvetch

First discovered on a Pennsylvania farm in 1935, this multi-tasking legume now provides beauty along the roadside and support to the soil throughout the state. Find out more about the Crownvetch and its selection as the official state beautification and conservation plant of Pennsylvania.


State Dog: Great Dane

The Great Dane breed was part of frontier Pennsylvania history as a hunting and working dog. Pennsylvania’s founder William Penn’s own Great Dane is featured with him in a portrait. Find out more about this gentle giant and its selection as the official state dog of Pennsylvania. 


State Fossil: Trilobite

Trilobites may be extinct, but these joint-legged animals existed in Pennsylvania millions of years ago.  We learn about these animals from the remains, traces or imprints they left behind. Find out more about this ancient creature and its selection as the official state fossil of Pennsylvania.  


State Firearm: Long Rifle  

A simple adaptation revolutionized this weapon used for hunting and defense.  Find out more about the Pennsylvania Long Rifle, its controversial name, history and selection as the official state firearm of Pennsylvania.